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Pinarayi protecting tainted forest officials in Muttil tree felling case, alleges Satheesan

The Opposition leader also blamed the LDF government for being a 'scarecrow' in combating the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 25th August 2021 04:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2021 04:22 PM   |  A+A-

Congress leader VD Satheesan

Congress leader VD Satheesan (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Dharmadam connection in the Muttil tree felling case coming to the forefront, Opposition leader V D Satheesan has urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to break his silence on the controversial issue. Talking to reporters at Cantonment House, Satheesan alleged that the Chief Minister is protecting the perpetrators.

Rajesh Ravindran, additional principal chief conservator of forests (forest, land and resources), who was entrusted to probe into the Muttil tree felling case had submitted a report to the government on June 29 stating that there were attempts to sabotage the investigation. Also, there were attempts to frame forest range officer M K Sameer who had unearthed the scam, he said.

The accused in the case, Anto Augustine and tainted forest official NT Sajan, had allegedly spoken over mobile phone 86 times in four months.  

This is the second time Satheesan has raised the Dharmadam connection in the tree felling issue.

“Pinarayi has tried to protect tainted forest officials who are accused in the Muttil tree felling case. He should reveal the Dharmadam connection. The state government is groping in the dark. It is high time Pinarayi ended his silence,” said Satheesan.

The Opposition leader also blamed the LDF government for being a 'scarecrow' in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. He urged that the existing government set-up should be restructured as currently health workers are forced to do tedious work.

“The state government has been fudging the health statistics. They should reveal accurate health data so that the third wave can be combated. Pinarayi is reading out the statistics provided by the health department officials who are misleading him. It is the restrictions imposed by the authorities which have become a spoilsport in combating the pandemic,” added Satheesan.

On Wednesday, posters against Satheesan had sprung up in front of the District Congress Committee office at Ernakulam. Reacting to it, Satheesan maintained that he will not stoop to the level of forming a group within the party.

“The party is above the groups. It is preposterous and I do not wish to stoop to such levels to form a group. I wish to reiterate that I will not succumb to the pressures being posed by certain people deliberately,” added Satheesan in a veiled attack against the group leaders and their managers.

He also informed that once State Congress president K Sudhakaran returns from New Delhi, the party will be holding talks as the five subcommittees have submitted their reports on the poll drubbing across the state.



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